A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Crater is the jewel in Tanzania’s crown; the world's largest intact volcanic caldera and a haven to a wondrous array of animal life, which makes the crater a "must do" on any visit to Tanzania. On an Ngorongoro Crater safari, the backdrop of the crater walls makes for some stunning photographic opportunities, as you see the animals wander through the grasslands on the crater floor towards Lake Magadi.
The crater can be accessed from lodges perched on its rim or from the town of Karatu, where some slightly cheaper accommodation options can be found. Naturally, the crater is an alluring destination all year round, so when it comes to choosing accommodation, location is everything. With this in mind, we love Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, located right by the Lemala access road, meaning you are down on the crater floor long before other vehicles so can enjoy some quiet time before it gets very busy. If you are looking to really treat yourselves to one of Africa's leading lodges, then &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge can't be beaten for opulence and comfort.
The access to the crater means that even from the lodges on the crater rim, a trip here tends to be a full day or half-day excursion (depending on where you’re staying) and you can take a picnic lunch along with you. There are some lovely picnic spots on the crater floor, where you can find wonderful spots to sit back and have a break to enjoy the stunning views. With this in mind, you will need to stay a minimum of two nights in this area to be able to enjoy a trip down into the crater.
It's not without reason that the crater is a firm favourite - the game driving is superb and the views are breathtaking, both from the rim as you descend into the base and from all around when you are enjoying your game viewing on the crater floor. A must-do on any Northern Tanzania itinerary, where you can also visit the neighbouring Serengeti National Park and many other spectacular sites.
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Melissa joined Africa Travel in 2015, having worked in the travel industry for 10 years. Born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, Melissa's favourite destinations are Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and the Garden Route.Read more
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